The Wallace Collection

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Wheel-lock rifle with ramrod
  • Wheel-lock rifle with ramrod
  • Meister der Tierkopfranke (active between: 1620 - 1660) , (stock)
  • Salzburg, Germany
  • c. 1645
  • Steel, gold, silver, copper alloy, walnut and wood, engraved, overlaid, blued, gilded and carved
  • Length: 103.6 cm, overall
    Length: 77.4 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.2 cm, calibre
    Weight: 2.49 kg
  • Inscription: 'F.M.A.' surmounted by a crown The cypher of Ferdiand as Archduke of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. 'F.M.A.' in monogram.
  • A1100
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock rifle, with an octagonal barrel, engraved with cherubs' heads, a lion rampant, a griffin rampant and the figure of Fortune on a globe, enhanced with overlaid gold and silver on a hatched and blued ground; the intervening spaces are filled with floral ornaments and running foliage. Brass foresight and backsight with single folding leaf. Rifling of eight grooves.

    Lock with internal wheel, the lock-plate engraved with a man walking, a hound and a stag in a landscape, the engraved parts gilt, the background blued. The wheel-case is engraved with a hunting scene. The flash-guard of the pan is missing. The cock has a long cocking spur ending in a knob.

    Stock of German fashion of Italian walnut, carved in low relief with running foliage, hounds and deer, and inlaid at intervals with silver ornament pierced and engraved; on the near side is the representation of a camel in the same metal. In the centre of the cheek-piece of the butt is an elaborate silver cartouche engraved with the monogram F.M.A. surmounted by a crown. This is the cypher of Ferdinand as Archduke of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain (d. 1647), whom he married in 1631. Wooden ramrod tipped at both ends with steel, the lower tip being threaded internally for the attachment of a cleaning implement. Trigger-guard of gilt steel with finger indentations. Hair-trigger.

    Austrian (Salzburg), about 1645; stock formerly attributed to the master 'H.N.' However it is no longer considered to be by that craftsman, but is attributed to the so-called 'Meister der Tierkopfranke' ('Master of the animal headed scrolls'), active from about 1620-60.

    Provenance: the Emperor Ferdinand III (1608-57).

    The pair to A1100 was in the W. R. Hearst collection, and is now in the Kienbusch collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (cat., no. 647, pI. CXLV).

    The stock belongs to a group of carved gun-stocks classified by Hans Schedelmann as the work of the Meister der Tierkopfranke. This group is discussed by R. H. Randall in The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, XII (1949), pp. 54 ff., where he lists 26 further examples of this craftsman's work in the Walters Art Gallery, at Vienna, Munich, Paris, Musée de l' Armée, New York, Metropolitan Museum, and a number of private collections. One of those at Vienna has the stock signed with the initials: H.N. (Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, inv. no. D104; Schedelmann, 1972, p. 103, figs. 171-2). The barrels are by various makers, including Paul and Sigmund Klett of Salzburg-Elenau. Dated specimens range from 1531 to 1648.
    L'art ancien, I, 26 (Nieuwerkerke); Randall, 'Firearms carved by the Master H.N', Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, XII, 1949, pp. 54-63; Schedelmann, 'Der Meister der Tierkopfranke', Waffen-und Kostümkunde, 1962, pp. 1-7 (A1100 is his no. 9 and its pair his no. 8); Schedelmann, Die grossen Büchsenmacher, 1972, pp. 98-9; Schedelmann, 'The Master of the animal-headed scrolls', Arms and Armor Annual, I, 1975, pp. 180-95, no. 28, and its pair no. 6; Carpegna, Firearms, 1975, nos. 18 and 19, all giving further examples of the master's works.

    Exhibited: Musée Rétrospectif , 1865, no. 1972 (Nieuwerkerke).

    Provenance: comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    Dated specimens of this stockmaker's work range from 1624 to 1648. He worked for the Imperial court and several of his stocks were mounted by the Viennese gunmaker Hans Faschung (Schedelmann, 1972, p. 102, figs. 165-7 and pI. XV).

    To Schedelmann's latest list of the works of this stockmaker can be added two further wheel-lock rifles from the Medicean gunroom now in the Bargello, Florence (nos. M229 and 230; Boccia, L'illustrazione italiana, 1974, pp. 84-110, figs. 19, 22 and 27-30, and 18 and 22-26 respectively), and a magazine carbine dated 1653 by Cornelius Klett in an Austrian private gunroom.